It's commonly known dogs make people better and happier. To see this in its fullest form, look no further than Bear the labrador.
Bear has been working with support unit students at Manning Gardens Public School to great effect.
The 15-month-old dog comes from the family of the assistant principal for the support unit Alison Trudgeon.
"Bear has been brought in to make a difference to the kids," Alison explained.
"She calms them down when they feel a bit heightened."
After successfully navigating puppy and adolescent school, Bear will become an official therapy dog.
"That's still a few months away but Bear would be able to go into other schools, nursing homes and shopping centres," Alison said.
Last week, support unit students Jala Sutton, Brendon Donovan-McLeod and Johannes Ussher were more than happy to show visiting Chatham High School students Ruby Purnell and Crystal Ingham what skills and tricks they could do with Bear, such as sitting and chasing a ball.
Alison taught them the proper command techniques.
"The kids will take turns to throw the ball to Bear," Alison said.
"She will also go down the slide in the playground with them and go in the sandpit."
Four mornings in every school week, Bear will sit with the students while they read.
"She will lie down at their feet while they read," Alison said.
"The good thing about it is if they make a mistake, they don't feel like they're being judged.
"They feel more inclined to have a go and I try to do it with each student in the week."
Bear isn't the only dog making a difference at the school. A black labrador, Luke, works with mainstream students.